FID: corruption costs each Latvian resident approximately 160 euros

On average, corruption causes every Latvian resident to lose approximately 160 euros, said acting chief of Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity (FID) Toms Platacis at a press-conference held on Friday, the 3rd of March.
He stressed that FID organises the campaign Traces of Crime Cannot be Washed Away for the fifth consecutive year. FID carried out a study, the results of which indicate that more than 70% of residents understand that corruption and other forms of financial crimes have a negative influence on society and the country as a whole. One-third of Latvian residents are prepared to not pay certain taxes or purchase a cigarette pack without paying the excise tax, or even give a gift to someone in exchange for some benefit.

One of the goals of the campaign is putting together major crimes and the everyday residents, as well as finding ways to reduce or prevent this.

He stresses that it is a common belief in society that gratitude to doctors or other officials does not harm to society or the state. Looking at the enormous corruption scandals together with everything «gratitude», corruption in Latvia costs each resident approximately EUR 160 every year, said Platacis.
He explained he cannot comment how exactly methodology is formed and how this amount was calculated. He only stressed that this amount was calculated based on average losses suffered by every individual Latvian resident.

Platacis also mentioned that last year Latvian residents lost approximately EUR 10 million to various scams. This year this amount has already reached EUR 1 million.

«Behind all these cases there is large organised crime network present in Latvia and abroad,» said Platacis, stressing that large damages are not always caused by one perpetrator. Groups of criminals cause enormous damages together.
Platacis said most of the victims of scams are people of pension age. This is because scammers know foreign languages, such as Russian language. This makes it easier for them to scam pensioners.
Also read: FID warns the risk of breach of sanctions in Latvia is very high